Biology Of Transcendence

ISBN: 1594770166
ISBN 13: 9781594770166
By: Joseph Chilton Pearce

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About this book

Uses new research about the brain to explore how we can transcend our current physical and cultural limitations • Reveals that transcendence of current modes of existence requires the dynamic interaction of our fourth and fifth brains (intellect and intelligence) • Explores the idea that Jesus, Lao-tzu, and other great beings in history are models of nature’s possibility and our ability to achieve transcendence • 17,000 sold in hardcover since April 2002 Why do we seem stuck in a culture of violence and injustice? How is it that we can recognize the transcendent ideal represented by figures such as Jesus, Lao-tzu, and many others who have walked among us and yet not seem to reach the same state? In The Biology of Transcendence Joseph Chilton Pearce examines the current biological understanding of our neural organization to address how we can go beyond the limitations and constraints of our current capacities of body and mind--how we can transcend. Recent research in the neurosciences and neurocardiology identifies the four neural centers of our brain and indicates that a fifth such center is located in the heart. This research reveals that the evolutionary structure of our brain and its dynamic interactions with our heart are designed by nature to reach beyond our current evolutionary capacities. We are quite literally, made to transcend. Pearce explores how this “biological imperative” drives our life into ever-greater realms of being--even as the “cultural imperative” of social conformity and behavior counters this genetic heritage, blocks our transcendent capacities, and breeds violence in all its forms. The conflict between religion and spirit is an important part of this struggle. But each of us may overthrow these cultural imperatives to reach “unconflicted behavior,” wherein heart and mind-brain resonate in synchronicity, opening us to levels of possibility beyond the ordinary.

Reader's Thoughts


This visionary book speculates upon the potential of humanity to evolve at a much accelerated pace with expanded compassion, tolerance, and altruism as suggested by Pierce's analysis of the true Jesus Christ, as well as Bhudda, Ghandi, and other highly-evolved prophets and leaders. Pierce beautifully weaves this all into an understanding of Pre-and perinatal psychology, emphasizing the need for a truly caring, attentive and mindful conception, pregnancy, birth and infancy of all newborns, which will produce children with fully developed frontal lobes (and the capacity to imagine and design a non-destructive way of being). Philosophy, neuroscience, spirituality and psychology all meet in Pierce's profound hypothesis.


Interesting - not finished with this one yet!

Tiarekhalo Tiarekhalo

I'd like to read this book as a friend recommended it, so its on a must read before the year is out list!


Enculturation is the process of External Ethics.Socialization is the process of Inner Way.


It gets you thinking--and for me that is one of the most important values in a book. I think we can evolve or become extinct. I value his ideas and the push they give me to examine some of my own.


This book has enlightened perception of the ways of evolution within the brain of the human being. Transcend into a clear field of spiritual awakening.

Ron Krumpos

"The Biology of Transcendence" is one of the books in the secondary bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism. "The greatest achievement in life" at has been reviewed on Goodreads.

Darlene Lambert (Meredith)

For the past two years I have not wanted to go to church. Something was missing in my religious experience. As a Catholic I did not question religious doctrine; went to church every Sunday and every Holy day but felt "empty". This book "the Biology of Transcendence" has put things in perspective for me. It acknowledges and validates my quest towards transcendence. The reasons societies seek Religious shelter, the guilt and shame imposed upon you by loving but unsuspecting parents are tied into the enculturation of societies. He quotes Jesus but takes out the twist given to His words by Paul, the Apostle and clearly states to go back to the silent chambers of your heart. There I have found the missing link in my life. God in His true essence. Pearce discusses the biological effects of violence and distrust; the reptilian brain grows larger in these conditions and takes over without thought; the struggle nature has had trying to create a larger prefrontal brain that is needed if ever we are to transcend to Higher aspirations. With every human born nature tries to elaborate (perfect) the brain but it's squelched by care takers following rules of enculturation.

Karen Martin

Excellent. Thought provoking ideas. Some parts were a bit dry but worth wading through.

Liam See

Utterly holistic insights and perspectives based on a lifetime of global travel, firsthand interviews with a wide range of spiritual leaders, research and teaching. Seminal stuff abounds here, with many critical interpretations of cultural trajectories and recommendations.The Heart Math Institute is a medically and scientifically based research center that very carefully measures how our brain waves, heart rhythms and other inner biometrics.


The human species is evolving toward a higher consciousness. Neurophysiological studies are demonstrating the wisdom of the mystics. All we need to fear is the lack of courage to grow and change, to recognize our own Divinity and to put aside the practice of projecting the Divine onto some external Authority.

Magnus Itland

This pseudoscience is so weak that it is embarrassing to read. It is not devoid of good points, in particular the importance of investing our time in children in order for them to develop well. Children are really undervalued, so the book is commendable on that. Also the long duration of human maturation - our brains really are not finished growing until sometime in our twenties (not that most people use them fully even then). But much of its science is misinterpreted, and pure myth is taken as fact. This is really a warning of what can happen when experts (both the author and some of his sources) speak with confidence outside their narrow expertise.

Sarah Bonham

brilliant, but kind of rough to get through. i wouldn't suggest it for a "light read"

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